Archive for April, 2009

April, Come She Will: Final Cut

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2009 by Katie Heimer

Here is the final edit of my film–content/structure-wise, it’s pretty similar to the cut I posted a few days ago, but I went back and changed out a few of the still images for video or sort of stop-action-y stuff to try to keep the flow moving. I also went back and worked with matching the video against the music much more meticulously, since, as Virgil pointed out last week in class, if you take the risk of doing a movie where the music is so central, it can easily detract from the imagery, which I didn’t want to do.

In terms of ‘plot’, I would say my aim was more aimed at evoking an emotional, impressionistic sort of sense of the trajectory of a relationship. I sort of wanted it to be a little impressionistic so the images could speak for themselves and people could interpret the overall impression as they wished. As I said, to me this was the story of the arc of a romantic relationship, but in previewing the video to some people I know, one person asked me if it was about the death of someone beloved, and I thought that was an interesting understanding of it too, and not one totally foreign to my original intent–after all, the end of a relationship can be a death of sorts. From beginning to end I wanted to use imagery that evoked an intimate, homey feeling and also mirrored a shifting relationship, rather than just have all the images be of her. I wanted to play with and explore the qualities of memory, how some memories can be more fragmentary, others more fluid, some more precise, others a little out of focus, some more like snapshots in time, others more extended, etc.

Being a perfectionist, I’ve been kind of hung up with little places where my camera work shakes and things, but ultimately on some level I think that works in that it gives some of the footage the feel of a home movie which enhances the feeling I was trying to achieve that the person through whose eyes we are seeing these images is, with the girl, the other member of that relationship. A while back, I had referenced as an example of what I was going for the scene in the movie “Once” where Glen Hansard’s character watches old home movies of he and his ex girlfriend (who he is still in love with) on his computer while playing and singing the song “Lies” (here is a really low quality clip of the scene I’m talking about with annoying subtitles–sorry, it was the only one I could find online). In that example, the footage is much more heavily focused on the person (his ex-girlfriend) but the feeling is sort of what I was after. I know there are other good examples in movies I’ve seen, I just can’t seem to remember any others at the moment.

Anyway, despite much frustration in the process, most of it technology-related, I’m pretty pleased with the final result. I hope you enjoy!

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Rough Cut of Video

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 by Katie Heimer

Well, last week’s class due to technical difficulties, I wasn’t able to show a rough edit of my video due to the fact that I hadn’t even been able to get my video footage off the mini DV tape yet. It’s a long, boring story, but after working all day long yesterday after class, I was finally able to retrieve my video footage and last night and today/tonight I cobbled together a rough edit. It’s not quite what I originally envisioned but it’s heading in that direction. I doubt anyone will look at this before class next week, but on the chance someone does, I would be very grateful for any feedback anyone could offer. Please excuse the shaky camera work–believe it or not I actually used a tripod for most of it, but for some reason, I couldn’t get the tripod bearing to pan smoothly–it kept sticking a little as I pivoted. Anyway, the premise is sort of a music video of sorts (despite Professor Wong’s words of caution in that direction), chronicling the arc of a relationship in a semi-impressionistic way. As I said, the result as it exists now is not exactly what I had in mind but it’s the best I could do. If anyone sees this before next Saturday (4/25), let me know if you have any feedback or advice. Thanks!

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Video Killed The…Media Student (Almost)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2009 by Katie Heimer
"The files are IN the computer...?" (or in my case, the DV deck)

"The files are IN the computer...?" (or in my case, the DV deck)

Several times this week as I did battle with my mini DV tape, trying to extract my footage from it, I thought of Professor Wong’s warnings last week about the way that Murphy’s Law so often operates in creative and technical endeavours. After many lost hours and many suppressed tears and screams of frustration, I now understand this in a much more personal way. Suffice it to say that the words “time code error” will haunt my dreams for weeks to come.

Everything seemed to be on track with my movie up until this point. From fairly early on I came up with an idea of what I wanted to do with the video, and I checked out the video equipment and shot some footage over the course of several days. Already, to begin with, my project was based around the restrictions, or should I say obstructions, that existed, most prominent being the tricky schedule of my friend who had been the subject in my photographic assignment on which the film was to be loosely based. It was at least in part due to this  reality that I decided that the bulk of the two minutes would consist of a more abstract approach to constructing the arc of a relationship. I decided to bookend a montage of images with footage of my subject walking down a street toward the camera, smiling warmly in recognition (at the beginning) and walking away from the camera down the same street, glancing back briefly. These bookend footage clips I envision as representing more literally the beginning and end of a relationship, and giving the center section a context, a continuity that creates a narrative arc when taken as a whole. In between these two clips, I wanted to create a collage of imagery, some photographs, some short video clips, depicting objects, actions, and sensory experiences which evoke home and a sense of intimacy. I wanted to arrange these in such a way as to build slowly, a dripping faucet become a animated when turned on full blast, blooming flowers, later wilted. Interspersed would be brief, intimate images of the same female subject, correlating her with the other images, as if her facial expressions are merely more images among the others through which to track the growth, then fading of intimacy in a relationship. As the soundtrack, I plan to use the song “April, Come She Will” by Simon and Garfunkel–this song seemed to work well both length-wise and thematically. Since the lyrics use the metaphor of the passing of time from month to month, season to season, as a metaphor for the evolution of a relationship, it fits well with the approach of using images to convey a sense of passing time and with it a sense of the gradual birth and death of a relationship. I know that inevitably, the final product will not be exactly what I envision in my head, but if I’m able to somehow coordinate all the elements in a way that at least evokes some sense of emotion, I’ll consider that a pretty good success.

Now that I finally seem to have conquered the hated time code errors (fingers crossed), I’m eager to get to work putting all the pieces together as best I can.

Critical Themes in Media Studies Conference

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2009 by Katie Heimer

criticalthemes

Anyone who will be in New York this Saturday–come to the Critical Themes in Media Studies Conference this Saturday at The New School! The conference, in case the image above is too small to read, takes place this Saturday, April 4th from 10 am to 8 pm at 66 W. 12th Street in Manhattan and is free and open to the public. It will kick off at 10 am with a keynote address by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and will continue through the afternoon with a variety of panels involving themes in media studies. For more information and a full list of the presenters, visit the conference’s website here.

I’m on the planning committee for the conference and we’re hoping for good turnout on Saturday–hope to see you there!